June 6, 2002
to receive USA Hockey service award
BY RICH KAIPUST
|WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER |
The first few times Frank Serratore attended USA Hockey's annual banquet in Colorado Springs, Colo., he listened carefully to how the organization worded its presentation of the Wm. Thayer Tutt Award. Hearing such things as "many years of service" and "selfless dedication" brought an instant candidate to mind.
"I thought, 'Gosh, this is Motto McLean,'" Serratore said. "Since then, I've always equated that award with Motto McLean." On Saturday, E.H. "Motto" McLean will receive the Tutt Award. The 76-year-old Omahan will be recognized for decades of volunteer work with hockey at the grassroots level in Omaha. It's the latest in a long line of honors for McLean. The Hitchcock Park ice arena recently was named after him, and he was inducted into the Omaha Hockey Hall of Fame. This will be his first national award.
"It's special in that way," he said. "I'm very excited about it and very humbled by it."
Serratore, a former Omaha Lancers head coach now at Air Force, nominated McLean for the award. Serratore gathered letters of recommendation from several people, including UNO Coach Mike Kemp, Lancers Coach Mike Hastings and Michigan Coach Red Berenson. After coming to Omaha in the 1940s - and playing for the Knights - McLean went on to be a "mentor, coach and builder" in the city. The native of Flin Flon, Manitoba, settled into volunteer work when his playing career ended. McLean helped start the Omaha Youth Hockey Association and the Motto McLean Hockey School. He remains involved with the Lancers, Cornhusker State Winter Games and Metro Classic Adult Hockey League.
"Hockey was my first love," he said, "and I've just continued on with it."
McLean will be among 12 players, coaches, officials, teams, administrators and volunteers honored during the banquet, which wraps up the four-day USA Hockey Annual Congress. McLean said he'll keep his speech short.
"All I can say is thanks to everybody," he said. "I still haven't been able to get over it."